Toss Punishment – Keep Discipline

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | March 26, 2014

If a parent punishes a child, what does a child learn from that?

When we teach children properly they learn self-discipline and self-restraint.

‘Punishment’ is a very ugly word and I wish parents would take that word, write it down on a sheet of paper, then wad it up and throw it in the trash because that is where it belongs. The word itself feels heavy on the heart and begs to be spat out of the mouth. When a child hears the word they feel dread and become less than they were before. I want parents to stop using that horrible word. The word I want parents to use in place of that word is DISCIPLINE. Discipline is lyrical, strengthening, uplifting and educating word.

When most parents say punishment, what they really mean is discipline; discipline means ‘to teach or to train.’ Thinking about the lesson a parent teaches when setting a child’s discipline measures can redefine the outcome and be beneficial for the parent/child relationship.

When disciplining a child answer two simple questions:

 What do you want a child to learn from the discipline event?

How do you want a child to remember this event when he or she is in their twenties (or forties)?

Reward good behavior with free treats like time with parent.

Remember this: Punishment is punitive. Punishment hurts and pain teaches nothing. Punishment is a self-gratification tool of some parents who may not know any other way to correct except what their parents did to them. Punishment does not belong in the same room with a child. A child may have done something not-so-wise but they do not deserve punishment, they deserve to learn.

Can you think of different ways to discipline or teach a child?

  • Allow children to help make rules that are fair
  • Time out, to stop and think of a better action
  • Be consistent with rules and consequences
  • Redirect behavior
  • Show how to do things like chores or answering the phone
  • Give a do-over
  • Use the child’s name respectfully
  • Give an extra chore
  • Reward good behavior with free treats like time with parent
  • Set a time limit
  • Problem-solve persistent issues
  • Be a good behavior model (no yelling or violence, be calm)
  • Give children ownership of their behavior
  • Dislike the negative behavior, not the child
  • Use grandma’s rule or when/then
  • Request of child to teach listening
  • Feed into positive behavior and ignore what is unimportant
  • Accept genuine mistakes
  • Use praise sparingly
  • Tell the child how their behavior affects others
  • Stay in the parent role, friends are chosen, parents are not

When we teach children properly they learn self-discipline and self-restraint. Isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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11 Responses to Toss Punishment – Keep Discipline

  1. Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
    Although I am far from finished my first chapter in the dissertation, discipline, as a theme, is an overarching aspect that of good education. Both John Dewey and Alfred North Whitehead proposed that self-discipline in children and youth education. Teaching, as the last line in this post suggests, is vital to the forming process involved. Word and action is essential to teaching and learning.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Self-discipline is one of the most difficult to master. General Robert E. Lee was certainly a master and once said, “Moderation in all things.” I do not recall the exact quote but the thought is there. How many public figures end up in so much trouble because they omit self-discipline? It is parents are responsible for giving children the seed but self-discipline is a lifelong task.

      Thank you for the reblog!


  2. It couldn’t be put in a better way… beautifully written!


  3. Reblogged this on The Hunt FOR Truth and commented:
    I’ve worked and lived to give help to others for a time… the act of punishing is of errant thinking… teaching takes time and repetition – but it works to build character – punishing builds bitterness and resentments and rarely works as expected – thus the one giving the punishment too is hurt. Attack is insane – God made us to be as He is… loving.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      You are right, Eric. I try to get people to focus on a goal, if they do that then I doubt they will hit, which only creates resentment, anger and low self-esteem. I will be posting this week’s piece later today. Thank you for commenting and the reblog. 🙂 You made my day. Jack


  4. Pingback: Super Parent: The Future Parent Sets Forth Financial Plan |

  5. Pingback: How to Deal With Your Child's Negative Behavior: Techniques that May Help | Special Care for KidsSpecial Care for Kids

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